Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Brian Paddick’

London LibDem Cartoon Characters

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 10th May, 2008

Considering how dire the London election results were for the LibDems, the atmosphere at the thank-you party at the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury last night was singularly upbeat. The place was packed for several hours, as the good ladies of Camden local party criculated with home made canapés. Brian Paddick, as well-pressed and pristine as ever, was positively bullish; could a peerage be on the cards for him, I wondered?

The lean but mean new team on the London Assembly — Mike Tuffrey, Dee Doocey and Caroline Pidgeon — can be guaranteed to keep Mayor Bojo on his toes. Meanwhile, under Denys Robinson’s chairmanship, London Region has to carry out a deep analysis of why the party’s vote share plunged in the capital when it held up so well in most other parts of the country. Though I don’t want to prejudge the outcome, I remain convinced that the core problem is that the LibDems haven’t yet got a winning strategy for list elections. This must now be an urgent priority, as there’s only a year to put it into place to deliver the results the party needs in the upcoming European elections.


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Crikey, It’s Boris

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 2nd May, 2008

So the bookies were right: Boris Johnson is London’s new mayor, having beaten Ken Livingstone (after redistribution of second preferences) 1,168,738 to 1,028,966. God helps us! Brian Paddick deserved to do much better than he did, but it was a classic squeeze situation, in a contest promoted by the media as a two-horse race.

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The Nick and Brian Show

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 29th April, 2008

Earlier this evening, Nick Clegg and Brian Paddick did a double act at a meet-the-people event at London Metropolitan University in the Holloway Road, chaired by the LibDem PPC for Islington South and Finsbury, Bridget Fox. Nick has been shuttling round the country recently, making himself accessible, while Brian is looking remarkably perky in the final straight for the London mayorals. It must have been all that training for the London Marathon.

Nick reached out to those people who are turned off by politics, acknowledging the high level of cynicism that exists among the British electorate, which largely explains the low turnout in recent elections. And he bluntly set out the real challenge facing him as leader of Britain’s third party: ‘How do you turn being right into being popular?’ For too long, the LibDems (and the Liberals before them) have waited like surfers for the wave of disaffection with either Labour or Conservatives to sweep them high up the beach (my analogy, not his!). The crucial test will be to build a sufficient swell of people who vote for LibDems for positive, not negative, reasons.

Brian (who has an op-ed in tonight’s Evening Standard) reiterated his message of persuading people to use the opportunity of the two-vote system in the London mayoral election to give him first preference, and then to give their second preference to whichever of Ken and Boris they dislike less. Journalist Pippa Crerar of the Evening Standard tried to pin him down as to which of the two he personally preferred, but he wisely said that on his own postal voting paper he had chosen someone who was neither Ken nor Boris (though he wouldn’t say who) for his second vote, thereby neatly avoiding what both the other leading candidates have been salivating for: his endorsement.


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Brian and Boris Woo the Latinos

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 27th April, 2008

Several hundred members of South London’s large Latin American community filled the main hall at the Elephant and Castle Leisure Centre this afternoon, to hear Brian Paddick and Boris Johnson make their mayoral pitch. Brian went down well with his observation that he left the Metropolitan Police because of his unhappiness over the handling of the Jean-Charles de Menezes affair. And his commitment to work to overcome the gap between rich and poor that has grown even wider since Labour have been in power, both in Downing Street and at City Hall, got a warm reception. Brian niftily batted a question from a Christian gentleman who asked whether he would drop mayoral support for Gay Pride by replying that London celebrates its diversity and he would be happy to see some support for religious festivals too.

Boris Johnson followed, the television and still cameramen almost falling over each other as he loped to the stage with the air of some crazed Icelandic nobleman. He banged on about putting more policemen on buses, and made quite a good joke about hoping that in future kebabs would be the most dangerous things in Peckham High Street. They say Central Office is keeping him on a short leash during the final stages of the campaign, but he still seemed pretty bonkers to me. Goodness knows who will actually run the Mayor’s Office at City Hall if Londoners are conned into voting for him.

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